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their tracts further back from the front than limited knowledge could not, if they wished, would be convenient to work as a farm, together have ascertained the truth in relation to these with enough woodland in the rear for fire- grants. There were several thousand acres of wood and timber, most of them declined to pay these so-called “lost lands," many of which the extra cost of surveying out the large tract were among the best lands in the county. Beof 160 acres to which each would have been tween 1850 and 1854 (while Hon. Charles entitled, which in most cases, would have ex- Noble was surveyor-general in Michigan) a tended from three to five miles to make up the full and complete survey of such lands was quantity, and not more than one in ten of them made and returned to the general land office in would consent to make their tracts longer than Washington. about two miles, and many of them not more But the difficulty in making provision upon than one. But occasionally a claimant more equitable principles for the adjustment of the far-seeing or more confident of the future, or various complications which had grown up perhaps stimulated by some “Yankee" (who under such a state of things, had prevented
claim), would extend his claim four miles or paternal nature of our Government towards more in depth so as to include nearly 640 acres those who have in good faith converted the allowed by law. But these cases were excep wilderness into fertile fields, has prevented any tional, and did not amount to one in twenty. hasty legislation which might disturb the oc
Very generally the adjoining claimants cupants of these lands. would make their claims of the same depth, The possession of these various tracts of and most generally about two miles, so as to land led to much litigation in Monroe county, make the rear of their claims a straight line; and the connection of the public surveys with but occasionally would come in the midst of the prior grants of claims led to some litigathem, a more modest claimant, who refused to tion in another way. The surveyor of the priextend his claim more than about one mile. vate claims did not always make the side line This, of course, rendered the rear of the body of some claims isolated from the general body of claims jagged and unequal, and the conse- of claims, and the government surveyor, on quence of this was, that when the Government, some occasions, included in the public surveys some years after, surveyed the public lands, large portions of such claims; and the governfinding a considerable body of claims extend- ment lands were bought in good faith, but ing the same distance back and bounded afterwards found to fall within the patent of alike by one straight line, it omitted to notice prior claims. Such was the case of a purchase the fact that among these claims were some of public land by Walcott Lawrence in Raisinwhich only extended back about half the dis- ville, some nine miles above Monroe on the tance, and the land in rear of these short north side of the river. A large part of his claims was thus, by mistake, left unsurveyed, purchase turned out to be within the bounds and treated as a part of the claim in front of a prior patent, or a claim which had been Although the original claimants knew that purchased by Christopher Bruckner; and this these lands were not included in their grants, case, after a long litigation, was settled by the their descendants, who were generally illiter- decision of the Supreme Court of Michigan in ate, most of them unable to read, really be- Bruckner vs. Lawrence, 1 Doug. 19, and all lieved that such lands were a part of the front other cases of a similar kind were settled or claim which they had inherited, and they decided on the basis of this decision. treated them as such in perfect good faith, sello. While on the subject of public lands and ing, mortgaging and leasing them as if a part of land grants, I should state there was one Inthe front grant. And they might well do so in dian reservation within the limits of Monroe good faith, as the patents for a large portion of county, of nine sections of land, at a place callthese claims were sent on to Michigan in 1812, ed Macon, on the River Raisin, where the and were captured by the British on a schooner River Macon falls into the River Raisin. This bringing them. The heirs of the claimants, was reserved to the Ottawa, Chippewa, Wytotally unacquainted with routine, never andot and Pottawatomie Indians by Hull's troubled themselves to inquire, and with their treaty at Detroit, of November 17, 1807. But by the treaty at the foot of the Rapids of public and uncited from the day of its passage. Miami, made by Lewis Cass and Duncan Mc- Judge Christiancy found the original record of Arthur on the part of the United States, with the action of the church and college in the these and other tribes of Indians, September hands of Mott Williams, Esq., at Detroit, con29, 1817, all these lands, except three sections taining a full and formal partition recorded “on the River Raisin at the place called Ma- between the rector of the church and the corcon,” were ceded to the United States.
poration of the college (University) of the three The sixteenth article of this treaty granted sections yet unlocated to the University. He to the Rector of the Catholic Church of St. found also that Austin E. Wing, Philip Seceeyer Ann, of Detroit, for the use of the said church and Mr. Brown were appointed to examine and and to the corporation of the College of De- select the other three sections on behalf of the troit in common, each one-half of three sections University; that they had performed this duty of land at Macon and three sections of land not and that they had made an able report, extollyet located, and the superintendent of Indian af- ing in enthusiastic, though no more than truthfairs of Michigan (the Governor) was authorized ful terms, the great excellence of Michigan to select the said tract of land. Suit was brought lands, and the advantages to settlers which in 1841 by Hon. Isaac P.Christiancy as the attor- Michigan offered over most other States of the ney of St. Ann's Church, Detroit, to recover Union. Judge Christiancy found that the the three sections at the Macon for which a State had already sold part of the land selected patent had been issued January 25, 1826, by (of these three sections) and thus ratified the the President (John Quincy Adams) to the partition. As to the other six sections of the rector of the church and his successors. It be- reserve, they were proclaimed for sale by the came necessary to ascertain how the patent Government in 1839 and 1840, and at his sug. came to be issued for the three sections at the gestion John D. Pierce, then Superintendent of Macon in severalty to the rector of the church Public Instruction for the State, applied to and his successors in office, or how the rector have these sections assigned to the State as became the owner in severalty. For this pur- school lands to make up deficiencies for school pose it was necessary to ascertain what was the sections in the county of Monroe, covered by “College of Detroit,” and how, if at all, a par- what were called “the old French private tition had been made. After a great deal of claims." The Judge made out the papers research and numerous inquiries of the oldest for the signature of the Governor, and the citizens, he finally ascertained the facts in the Commissioner of the United States land case from General Cass. He informed Judge office at once recognized the claim, and Christiancy that the College of Detroit was the the lands were so assigned. While Judge nest egg of the University of Michigan. The Christiancy was a member of the Michigan University had been incorporated by an act Senate in the winter of 1850, he brought to the of the Governor and judges, drawn up by attention of Frank Sherman, then SuperintendJudge Woodward, by such a pedantic and un- ent of Public Instruction, the original charter couth name the Governor and remaining of the “ Catholopistemiad, or University of judges refused to adopt the name and we chose Michigan,” and suggested its publication. He to call it the “ College of Detroit.” The name at once accepted the suggestion and in the given in the act was the “ Catholopistemiad.” next report inserted the full text of the act. In With this information, Judge Christiancy this way the original charter of the Michigan searched and found the act incorporating the University first saw the light in print, and was “ Catholopistemiad,” which had never been at last rescued from the oblivion to which its printed, but had remained unknown to the pedantic name had theretofore consigned it.
OAUSES THAT LED TO THE WAR O
SURRENDER OF DETROIT BY GENERAL HULL.
THE ruling passion of Great Britain has bave acquired that which she could not hold
I ever been the acquisition of territory, by force and arms. She could then have colonby no means limited to the eastern continentized and occupied nearly the whole line of and the isles of the sea. She persisted in her territory on the lakes, and the territory west warfare with the Government of France until of Lake Erie would have been an insuperable the year 1763, when she acquired from that obstacle to the growth of the Northwest, and Government all of her American possessions, would have to-day been subject to the British and by treaty claimed the exclusive con- Government instead of a free and independent trol until the close of the Revolutionary War government. in 1783, at which time, by the treaty commonly This design on the part of Great Britain is known as the Jay treaty, she ceded them to further apparent from the fact that although the Government of the United States of Amer- this territory had been, by the treaty of 1783, ica. After holding undisputed sway for twenty ceded to our Government, the stipulations of the years, appreciating the vast income derived treaty were not carried out; and for years she from our fisheries and grants and licenses to retained possession of American ports captured those engaged in the fur-trade, she with great during the Revolutionary War, and was conreluctance and with a poor grace re-ceded to stantly by bribes and presents instigating the our Government all her acquisitions from savage tribes to make impracticable the settleFrance. In making this cession by the treatyment of the pioneers in the Northwest Terriof 1783 of all the capacious harbors, noble tory. Notwithstanding the stipulations of the rivers and the Northwest Territory, it was the treaty of 1783, the British Government, in opinion among many of our eminent statesmen violation thereof, still retained possession of the that she ever cherished the desire and deter- territory north of the Ohio, and at the decisive mination of regaining them. This opinion victory of General Wayne after the treaty, the was based not only on the well-known desire Canadian volunteers and militia constituted a for acquisition, but from her persistent efforts considerable part of the Indian armies. The debefore and at the time of the treats to limit our cisive battle was fought under the walls of a territory as far as practicable, and to the full British fort, standing on territory previously extent of her power. Satisfied from her ex- ceded to the United States Government. perience in the War of the Revolution that These violations of a sacred treaty and enthey could not be regained by force of arms, croachments upon our territory on the frontier the energies of her statesmen were wasted in were still more exasperating upon the high their efforts to have this vast territory organ- seas. Napoleon was at this time in the very ized into independent states, and to recognize zenith of his power; and Great Britain, instead the various Indian nations as independent of overthrowing and crushing at once the nations. Could Great Britain have accom- French Republic, began to tremble for her own plished this purpose through the numerous safety. The deadly strife that followed exand powerful tribes of Indians that roamed hausted her resources and crippled ber strength. over these vast tracts of territory wbich bave She had for years been mistress of the seas, since become populous States, a large portion and to supply her navy with seamen, resorted of whom were then in sympathy with and to impressment of not only her own subjects allies of the English during the Revolutionary but on American ships of American sailors. War, she could then by treaty and purchase She arrested our mercbant vessels on the high seas under the pretense of seeking de- that was opposed to the War of 1812 comprisserters, and without hesitation with groundlessed many of the leading statesmen of this charges forced our sailors into the British navy country, and it should not appear to us strange
nation. Over six thousand were known to terized many in the party. Many of the have been thus impressed into the enemy's noblest men bad offered their lives and fornavy, though the real number was far in ex- tunes to the cause of liberty in the Revolutioncess of that number. This disregard of treaty ary struggle, and yet regarded the British obligations and these insults to our Govern- Government as the best in the world. They ment were not confined to the high seas, but made their sacrifices and evinced their patriotour American merchantmen were boarded on ism not so much against the form of governour own coasts and captured. American sea- ment, but to be free from its oppressive acts. men were pressed into their service in the very They admired the British constitution, and harbor of New York. These aggressions on took up arms not so much to destroy as to enland and violations of laws of nations and joy the rights it guaranteed its subjects. treaty stipulations continued, and becoming in- A great majority of the patriots and statestensely aggravating, led on the part of our men believed that sufficient provocation had Government to an open declaration of war. been given to justify us in a resort to arms. The New England States, with fresh recollec- The impressment of 6,000 or 7,000 seamen, tion of the carnage, bloodshed and strife of most of them American citizens, the destructhe Revolutionary War, with their sympathies tion of nearly a thousand merchantmen, and for a monarchical form of gorernment, were the insults heaped upon our flag, were wrongs averse to the declaration of war; and we were which could not be justified. not only compelled to encounter the armies In anticipation of the War of 1812, General and pavy of the most powerful nation on land Hull, the Governor of Michigan Territory, had and sea,but to meet with wisdom and great firm- been ordered to occupy the Territory with an ness the opposition of a powerful party com- army of two thousand men, for the purpose of posed of our own citizens. Having just recov- defending the northwest frontier from the Inered from the consequences of the long and ex- dians, and in case of war with Great Britain to haustive Revolutionary struggle, and feeling obtain command of Lake Erie. He would thus the invigorating influence of prosperity, the be able to co-operate with General Dearborn, nation instinctively shrank from a war that who had served in the Revolution and had would necessarily paralyze her commerce and been appointed commander-in-chief of the the rising hopes of a young nation. The Gov- northern forces, and had repaired to Plattsernment determined to exhaust all the efforts burg; while General Van Rensselaer of the of diplomacy before resorting to arms, but New York militia, and General Smith, were England's encroachments were so barefaced stationed on the Niagara frontier. and outrageous that Thomas Jefferson conclud- The design of this work will not admit of
virtues, and in communicating his impressions Generals Dearborn, Van Rensselaer and Smith, derived from intercourse with the English having in view the invasion and conquest of authorities, writes to our Government from Canada, but will be devoted in future to the camEngland: “In spite of treaties England is our paign in the Northwest Territory under tlie enemy. Her hatred is deep-rooted and cordial, command of General Hull, who had been an offiand nothing with her is wanted but power, to cer of merit under General Washington in the wipe us and the land we live in out of existence." Revolutionary War, and whose appointment at
Assuming the role of dictator, by her orders that time was considered a very judicious one. she not only violated all our rights as a nation In compliance with the call of the President, while submitting a treaty that was for protec- autborized by Congress, to the several States tion, but plundered our vessels, impressed our in anticipation of a war with Great Britain, seamen and threatened the towns along our Governor Meigs, of Ohio, issued his proclamacoasts with conflagration.
tion and drafted twelve hundred men from Ohio, A powerful party within our own borders which with three hundred volunteers under
Colonel Miller, three companies of artillery and blindfolded, his demands refused, and he was a part of the First regiment of infantry, assem- escorted back to Detroit. bled at Dayton, Ohio. The command thereof General Hull, having reached Detroit with was by Governor Meigs assigned to General his capable and patriotic officers and army of Hull, with instructions from the War Depart- 2,000 men, could have easily captured Malden, ment to march to Detroit with all possible and was urged to the necessity of doing somespeed. The three regiments, under the com- thing to carry out the objects of the campaign. mand of Colonels Cass, McArthur and Findlay, On the 12th of July he yielded to the pressure left Dayton June 1st with over two thousand and marched with his army to Sandwich. Here rank and file for Detroit. While en route for he paused and was vacillating; to the great Detroit General Hull at Findlay received infor- disgust of his officers, he halted four days; mation from the Secretary of War that war issued a proclamation to the Canadians, and would probably soon be declared, dated June sent out detachments penetrating into the 8th, 1812 ; but the declaration of war dated the country. After this delay, General Hull sent same day was not received by General Hull Colonels Lewis Cass and Miller with a detachuntil July 2d, at Frenchtown, on the River ment of 280 men, toward Malden. These officers Raisin, where he rested with his army over one pushed on to the River Canard, within four day. On the 1st of July, at Miami, on the miles of the British fort at Malden, drove in Maumee river, General Hull employed a the pickets, took possession of and held the schooner, the Cuyaboga, of which one Chapin bridge, and immediately dispatched a messenwas captain, to carry his baggage, hospital ger to General Hull announcing their success. stores, intrenching tools and about thirty For some unaccountable reason General Hull, inofficers and privates, with muster rolls, which stead of being gratified at their success, seemed had just been completed, and with instructions irritated, condemned the attack,and directed the from Secretary of War. The General declared immediate return of the detachment to Detroit. that as he had not then received a declaration The brave officers persisted in their request to of war, the two Governments were yet at peace. attack the enemy to no purpose. But official notice of the declaration of war had From the statements of the British afterwards, been received by the British commander at it appeared that the approach of this detachMalden six days before the declaration was ment filled the British garrison with alarm; received by General Hull, giving the British their shipping was brought up to the wharves officers a great advantage in preparations. When and the loading of baggage and stores comthe vessel with army supplies attempted to pass menced preparatory to flight. Two sides of the British fort at Malden it was seized and the fort were dilapidated, while 700 men, of captured with all on board. This advantage whom only 100 were regulars, constituted the gained over him had a depressing effect on entire garrison. From the panic which the General Hull.
approach of Colonels Cass and Miller created, On the 4th of July, General Hull,with his army, there is no doubt that the appearance of Genreached Huron River, about two miles east of eral Hull's army of 2,000 men before the place the present site of Gibraltar, and constructed a would have been followed by an immediate surbridge. Here he was met by troops from De- render. The American officers and army felt troit to aid in preparing the road. On the 5th certain of success and were impatient to be led the army crossed the Ecorse and Rouge rivers to the attack; but General Hull thought it unand reached the same evening Springwells, safe to advance without heavy artillery, and having trareled over 200 miles through an desired to know the effect of his proclamation. almost unbroken wilderness and forests, build- Two thousand men quietly waited for this ing bridges as they came to streams and rivers, miserable garrison of 700 men, 600 of whom wading through the memorable black swamp, were Canadian militia, restrained by the vacenduring great hardships. On the morning of illating course of the commanding officer. The the 6th of July General Hull ordered General American army was kept in this position three Cass to Malden with a flag of truce to demand the weeks. When at length two twenty-pounders baggage and prisoners captured on the schooner and three howitzers were mounted and with Cuyaboga. On bis arrival at Malden he was the ammunition placed on floating batteries,